Master Spellers

Madras’ Caylor wins her second bee


The final three competitors in Thursday’s Coweta County Spelling Bee are honored by organizers and sponsor. From left are Coweta County School System curriculum directors Therese Reddekopp and Karen Barker, along with third- place winner Tevyn Fudge (Arnall Middle School), first-place winner Natalie Caylor (Madras Middle School), second-place winner Dynahsty James (Lee Middle School), and Garnett Reynolds of BB&T Bank of Newnan, which sponsored the event. 

Madras Middle School student Natalie Caylor won Coweta County’s 2014 district-wide Spelling Bee, held at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Thursday.

It was the second time for Caylor as Coweta’s top speller.

Caylor, an eighth-grader at Madras, became Coweta’s 2014 spelling bee champion in the 20th round of the annual competition. She and runner-up Dynahsty James, a Lee Middle School seventh grader, sparred for the title in a spell-off that ended with Caylor correctly spelling “insinuate” and then “leonine” for the win.

This year’s spelling bee winner and runner-up each received a Kindle reader, provided by bee sponsor BB&T of Newnan and awarded Thursday by Garnett Reynolds of BB&T. Caylor and James emerged from a competition that began with 25 students from grades four through eight representing all of Coweta County’s 19 elementary schools and six middle schools.

“It was amazing,” said Caylor, describing Thursday’s competition. “I’m really glad I was able to do this in my last year at Madras.”

“I am so happy for Natalie,” said Madras Middle School Principal Lorraine Johnson. “She is a great student, and a real leader at our school.”

It was the second time that Caylor has won the county’s annual spelling bee. She first became the county’s champion speller in 2011, as a fifth-grader at Arbor Springs Elementary School. Thursday’s third-place winner, Tevyn Fudge, was similarly Coweta County’s 2012 winner, and the 2011 runner-up for the title, when he was a student at Welch Elementary School.

Mastery over words also seems to run in families. Fudge’s little brother, fifth grader Tyrell Fudge, represented Jefferson Parkway Elementary as his school’s champion; and Caylor’s little sister, fifth-grader Rebecca Caylor, competed as Arbor Springs Elementary School’s champion at this year’s county bee.

Principal Leigh Munson of Eastside Elementary School, Dr. Jan Franks of Arnall Middle School, and Dr. Christi Hildebrand of Elm Street Elementary School served as judges, and Dean Jackson served as pronouncer for the spelling bee.

The 25 competitors at Thursday’s bee were all winners of their own school spelling bees, which were held earlier in the school year.

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